Category Archives: Damien’s Blog

Thoughts and tips from HeroMachine expert user Damien.

Creating A Character 2: Finding Inspiration

Sometimes it's difficult to find a new source of inspiration for a particular project. I find that happens both as a writer and an artist. (I use the term "artist" loosely, since I haven't really drawn anything since HeroMachine 2 came out...) But there is inspiration waiting for you everywhere you look, if you just find it. I recommend taking a notebook to work, assuming you don't have anal-retentive bosses who hate notebooks. (I've had a few...) Jot ideas down as you go through your day, no matter how ridiculous. (I once had an idea with little meadow creatures who dueled with feathers, but I ended up dismissing it for its similarity to Redwall. You know, that immensely popular series with little critters acting medieval...?)

Orson Scott Card, the famed author of science fiction, fantasy, and dabblings in other genres once said that a good story starts with two radically different premises that work against each other to create conflict. (No, this is not a direct quote, I'm just typing it the best I can remember.) His book Ender's Game pitted a plot of teaching children to be military geniuses against a plot of invading aliens. And he included at least two major plot twists towards the end whose consequences reshaped the story entirely for the reader. His story has since won numerous literary awards and is studied by military academies for its insightful look into military training techniques. The point is, he created an awesome story with two opposing ideas, neither of which would have been promising material without the other. Continue reading

The Mechanics of Creation 1: A DamienBlog

Jeff said I could start ANOTHER weekly column if I wanted, and I think this one is closer to the idea of what he wanted me to do in the first place anyway. So I give you Mechanics of Creation, an in-depth look with pretty pictures of how to do some really amazing things with HM3. I'll start off again with my recent winning entry, Fierra the Feyrune, since she took so dadgum much of my time to make look that good.

More after the jump. Continue reading

Creating a Character, Part 1: Thought Processes

Now that I'll be more visible, I think I should do something worthwhile. So I'll be posting an occasional article or something on various subjects, and today's is on character creation in Hero Machine.

Now, just in case anyone wonders how I'm qualified to do that, let me tell you that I have half(ish) an associates degree in graphic design. So there. Continue reading

Damien the Editing Widget had arrived!

(I'm happy to welcome the first guest contributor to the site, the guy you've known as Damien who puts together those wild and crazy characters. I'm delighted to have him on board helping out and hope you'll welcome him with open arms! -- Jeff)

You all know me as Damien, and I've been hanging around here for a while now, longer than some. I recently undertook a project on my own time to help Jeff out with Hero Machine by going through posts from January '08 through March '09, cataloging comments for HM items from almost every post he made over the last year and a fourth. The result was a comprehensive and organized list of what you all wanted, with the most popular requests marked out. When Jeff asked me what I wanted in return, I told him.

I wanted to keep doing it.

So here I am, a sort of Web Assistant. I like the name Editing Widget, because it sounds weird and because it describes what I'd be doing--namely helping to moderate link posts, answering questions, writing the occasional column, and whatever else he happens to need done. We're even discussing some streamlining on things like item suggestions and program bugs. I asked for this because I enjoy having the power of life and--I mean contributing to this community that has lifted and supported me, and contributing to this program which has helped launch an attempted writing career. I'll be able to do so much to help, and to me, that was the only prize worth asking for.

[Well, I could have asked for a cool custom illustration, but this lasts longer 🙂 .]